The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) has been closed to applications with immediate effect.

DECC has seen a surge in applications over the past few days, and has said all applications received prior to the fund closing will be honoured at the original rates, providing they satisfy the terms and conditions and meet the eligibility criteria.

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund was set up to help households in England and Wales improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Amber Rudd, said: "The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is a world first and in a short space of time it has proved extremely popular. We were always clear there was a budget which is why we encouraged people to act quickly. As a result, thousands more families will now benefit from government help to have warmer homes which use less energy.”

Earlier this week DECC announced changes to the scheme, caused by the hugely positive response since its launch at the beginning of June.

DECC will monitor voucher redemption rates and will consider whether to launch a further offer should funds become available.

The UK Green Building Council described the news as a setback for the energy efficiency industry.

Richard Twinn, policy and public affairs officer at the UK Green Building Council, said: “Companies have specifically geared up to market and deliver through this scheme. These constant changes are not helpful to industry. We now need urgent clarity as to whether government will bring forward any more money to ensure continuity of Green Deal work. This does demonstrate that we need long-term drivers, not short term pots of cash to avoid this continual cycle of boom and bust.”